Iberia Airlines has selected the advanced CFM56-5 B/P engine to power 50 firm and 26 option Airbus Industrie A320 aircraft family in an engine order valued at more than $800 million, including spares.
CFM, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States, is the world's leading supplier of commercial transport aircraft engines, with sales over the past five years representing 54 percent of commercial aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more. In the first quarter of this year alone, CFM received firm orders valued at approximately $2.25 billion for more than 450 CFM56 engines.
Iberia, Spain's national carrier, is a long-time CFM customer and already operates a fleet of 22 Airbus A320s powered by the CFM56-5A, as well as six A340s powered by the CFM56-5C. The airline will begin taking delivery of the new fleet, which includes, with options, up to nine A319s, 36 A320s and 31 A321s, in 1999, with deliveries continuing through 2004. The new aircraft will be incorporated into the airline's domestic and regional network. This is the largest A320 family order to date by a European operator.
In a statement announcing the order, Iberia noted that some of the key factors behind its selection of the CFM56-5 included the engine's low operating cost, low fuel consumption, and low maintenance costs, in addition to CFM's customer support.